THIS is the sign of a good mum???

This comment appeared on iVillage's Facebook page a few days ago:  ”I loathe seeing other parents disconnect from the swimming lesson week in week out, smart phone in hand. Just being there is not actually being present.”

The woman was referring to a post by the winner of iBlog Friday, Josefa Pete, who wondered if her smart phone was making her a bad parent. Josefa had confessed: ”For the past weeks, my conscience has been struggling with this last part, where classes start and smart phones come out. I have had mornings by the pool, where I have tried not to use my smart phone, only to be more annoyed at my hubby sitting there killing zombies right in front of me on his.

“On some mornings, I have tried to watch every single stroke, across the two different lessons my boys swim in. I have tried to catch their look as they come up for breath. But often my thumbs up and frantic waves only catches the eye of other parents, momentarily looking up from their smart phones.”

I have just one word for the “disconnect from the swimming lesson” woman: seriously?

OK, two words …


OK, three words … GET A LIFE.

If watching every stroke of a swimming lesson is a sign of being a good mum, I am very, very content to be a bad one.

Because if there is a part of my week I look forward to least it would have to be the hour I spent in a sauna-like swimming centre while my kids have their lessons. I hate it with a violent passion. It is hot, it is uncomfortable, it is intensely BORING.


Is that commenter really, honestly saying that parents should avidly watch every stroke their child takes in the pool. Because if she is she’s totally bonkers.

I had a drink with a friend last night and mentioned the infuriating swimming mum. My friend looked a bit stricken for a moment and recalled playing sport as a child and looking up excitedly for affirmation whenever she scored a goal, only to realise her mother wasn’t paying the slightest bit of attention.

Eeek. That's gotta hurt.

I assured her that a child doing laps in the pool and playing a sporting match are completely different. (Am I deluded?)

When my youngest plays netball, for example, I am completely present. I am cheering like a mad woman.

But swimming lessons. Swimming lessons!

No. Any mum who thinks it’s a badge of honour to watch the whole agonisingly dull thing and not sneak a peek at her smartphone is BONKERS. Absolutely BONKERS. If it wasn’t for my iPad (or my antique Blackberry while the youngest plays Jetpack Something-or-other as she waits for her lesson) I would be certifiable. As it is I usually need a can of sugar-free Mother in one hand and a social media device in the other to make it through with my sanity intact.

Tell me I’m wrong – go on … (I tend to fly off the handle and listen to reason later.)

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